KISS - HMV Forum, 04.07.12
‘You wanted the best, you got the best! The hottest band in the world…KISS!’ The swarm of KISS t-shirts heading towards Kentish Town’s HMV Forum is an unmissable sign that the kings of flamboyance are in town in aid of Help For Heroes. Upon entering the venue, the stage is hidden behind a silver curtain baring that famous logo, a trigger of great excitement for this evening’s event.
With no support act, the anticipation leading up to a 9 o clock stage time can be felt in the atmosphere. The hour strikes and at the end of Thin Lizzy’s Boys Are Back In Town the curtains falls as the band burst on to stage to Detroit Rock City. If you thought the Forum couldn’t handle KISS’s extravagant stage set ups, think again. With a logo of light bulbs, a heightened drum kit and the usual stage dressage, there was still plenty of fire and fireworks to accompany their characters. New single Hell Or Hallelujah got it’s first outing and received a roaring reception. Their setlist is well crafted to include plenty of fan favourites and the roars of appreciation are deafening. Paul Stanley still has charisma in abundance and has the crowd eating out of his hand, while Gene Simmons continues to flaunt his ridiculously long tongue to the audience and delivers Calling Dr Love with plenty of charm. A call and response of the first verse of Love Gun ensues with one of the most powerful audiences responses I’ve ever heard, and one the Starchild is impressed with as he encourages a repeat session. Theatrics of the night include fireworks from Tommy Thayer’s guitar after a blinding solo, a fake stage malfunction after Eric Singer shoots a gun and of course, Gene and his flaming sword.
Finishing on Black Diamond, a track Singer delivers extremely well, the chants for more don’t quieten for one second. Kicking of the encore with Crazy Crazy Nights, Lick It Up is one of the highlights of the evening and whilst Stanley’s voice may have lost some of it’s power, it is still very commanding. Confetti cannons cover the room in white accompanied by a firework display to rival Trafalgar Square on New Years Eve on tonight’s closer Rock N Roll Nite. As God Gave Rock N Roll To You rings around the venue, everybody is leaving with huge smiles on their faces, knowing they have just seen one of the best shows on the planet.